Hello friends! Yesterday was such a great day: I finished my three weeks of radiation treatment. Whoo hoo!! And my radiation oncologist said that my neck looks great and that the tumor will continue to shrink. You can barely see it anymore! My neck should be totally back to normal by the end of the month. I blasted Kelly Clarkson’s “Stonger” all the way home. :) Like any cancer treatment it was stressful, but I was super grateful that it had limited side effects. I made it through another treatment everyone! Life is GREAT!!
Thank you to all my family and friends for your support and kind words while I went through treatment. I’ve been sick off and on all week with a cold and cough, which is not fun when my neck and throat are swollen and sore from radiation. Having a great support system around me has really helped. So thank you!!
I have also had a lot of praise and support for my new healthy diet. I’m still going strong! Some people have expressed concerns and asked questions regarding my getting enough protein, calcium, and vitamins without animal meat or dairy. I can definitely assure you that my diet is outlined by professional nutritionists, and since I’m in treatment I am constantly getting my blood work checked. I just had it done a week ago, and all my levels look fantastic. And, despite getting over this cold/cough, I feel great! My energy is up, and that is one of the most important things while going through treatment: it’s allowed me to keep up with my walking and yoga. Staying active during treatment has proven to enhance the results – very very good news for me! I have the dead tumor tissue to prove it. :)
I am also excited to report that this healthy cancer patient (heh) is losing weight! I am 10 pounds down since starting my plant-based/vegan/sugar-free diet. My belly has started to flatten out and I actually have definition in my legs (something I thought was genetically impossible). As I mentioned before, I have been doing lots of walking, yoga, and working with resistance bands to tone up and gain strength as well as my new diet. And the best thing of all now is that I have a totally different relationship with my food which has reduced a huge amount of stress in my life. No more counting calories, bargaining, cheat-eating because “I deserve it” (ha), guilt, feeling deprived and depressed over lack of results. It was on a cycle of emotions which I had, sadly, gotten used to. Now that I am free of those negative feelings I can understand how toxic they were to my mind, body, and well-being. Life on the healthy train is really all it’s cracked up to be, and I am LOVING it!
If you are interested in looking into some yummy vegan recipes and wellness inspiration, you should check out my Pinterest page! There’s also tons of fashion, wedding and event related things too. Enjoy: pinterest.com/kathypotwin.
I am so blessed to have a three week break between radiation and chemotherapy treatment. My husband and I leave tomorrow morning for the Big Island of Hawaii!! We are just so elated and so grateful to our family for putting this trip together for us. I can’t believe we’ve been married almost a one year, and what a crazy year it has been. It’s our first vacation while going through all of this, and I am so excited to get some rest and relaxation on the beach! This trip will definitely be full of rejuvenating, healing, connecting, and prepping for chemo. Talk about getting a mind, body, and soul make over! Plus the radiation tanned the left side of my neck … I need to even that out a little bit (lots of SPF of course). :)
I’m bringing two wigs with me to Hawaii, but it will probably be so hot I will most likely wear hats every where. I’m still a little self-conscious about being in public with nothing but a hat or scarf — it’s the ultimate “cancer patient” label — but it’s apart of who I am now, and I am not ashamed of that. I am all about the self love lately! And I know I am beautiful whether I have a full head of hair or totally bald with no lashes or brows. I will not let anything ruin this amazing trip for us, even I get looks or stares from time to time! Who knows, maybe it work to my advantage some how. ;) You never know!!
I also decided, based upon an amazing suggestion from my cancer counselor, that during my upcoming chemotherapy sessions I will do something charitable instead if just reading my iPad or sleeping while the chemo is IV’d in me over several hours. I was thinking of crocheting scarves for foster and homeless children for the Fall season coming up, or crocheting blankets for preemie babies. What do you guys think? Enduring treatment can be very stressful, negative, emotional, and tiring, and I want turn that time into an experience to do something good for others. What a great thing to put out into the Universe, right?! I believe that doing self-less, charitable work is so good for the soul. If anyone else has ideas please feel free to shoot them my way! Now I am looking a little bit forward to treatment, instead of dreading it.
That’s all for now everyone! I hope you had a nice, relaxing Labor Day weekend (I know I did). I’m so excited that is will be almost Fall when I get back from vacation … my favorite time of year! Pumpkin spice, candles, wool-knit sweaters, cute boots, fuzzy scarves – there is so much to love about Fall. Ahhhhh.
Take care you guys, and much Aloha!!
PS: If you haven’t visited my official website yet, you should check it out! www.kathypotwincancersupport.com. Thank you!!